Commitment to project management awarded

Article image - Commitment to project management awarded ‘Before’ — The original 1884 Red Gum Arch and ‘After’ — (l – r) Darryl Cootes (Bourke Builders), Rosalyn Diaz (Project Manager Shire of Campaspe), and Simon Bourke (Bourke Builders) with the Project Management Award at the archway. The Shire of Campaspe’s commitment to project management has again been recognised at the Project Management Achievement Awards, receiving the Judges Commendation Award for the restoration of the Red Gum Memorial Archway in Echuca.

Current Mayor Kevin Simpson said the awards, hosted by the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), were established to recognise and promote outstanding achievements in program and project management. Campaspe is one of only four councils to have earned corporate membership with AIPM, the peak body for the profession in Australia.

“The project saw the original features of the archway reinstated, including the orbs and railing – which are evident in photos of the original structure — as well as reinstatement of the original writing across the arch. All of these original features highlight the archway’s uniqueness and important heritage value,” Councillor Simpson said.

The archway is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is recognised as the only known surviving example of a 19th century Victorian memorial, originally constructed as a temporary ceremonial arch and subsequently transformed to a permanent structure.

Restoration was undertaken by Bourke Builders, who not only took over the challenge of reinstating the structural integrity of the archway, but were also responsible for finding ways to make the conservation architect’s interpretation of the historical photos a reality.

The project overcame many challenges, such as sourcing sufficient quantities of ready seasoned red gum timber, with some of the timber eventually sourced from the Echuca Wharf rehabilitation project. This delay coincided with the summer tourist season and the subsequent increased traffic to the boat ramp necessitated an upgrade of the alternative access track.

“This was a unique project to deliver, involving a range of stakeholders to ensure the heritage aspects of the archway were reinstated, to be valued by the community for many years to come.

“Project management is at the heart of what every local government does – delivering projects for the community,” said Councillor Simpson.